Rabble-rouser VHP leader Pravin Togadia today created a storm with his claim that there was a plot to get him killed in an encounter by the police of Gujarat and Rajasthan, states ruled by the BJP, setting off calls by the Congress for an inquiry into his allegation.
Mr Togadia, who is convalescing in a hospital here after having gone missing for some time Monday and found unconscious, told journalists that some people were trying to stifle his voice and not allowed to speak on issues like Ram temple, farmers’ issues and cow slaughter.
“Yesterday morning, I was performing pooja, when messages came that a large contingent of the Rajasthan police, along with the Gujarat police, was coming to encounter me (kill me in an encounter),” a teary eyed Mr Togadia claimed.
“After informing my sec-urity guards, I, along with a VHP worker, took an auto-rickshaw, and went to Theltej area of the city. I called up Rajasthan chief minister (Vasundhara Raje) and home minister (Gulabchand Kataria), but they denied their police had come to Gujarat to arrest me. This raised more suspicion and I switched off my mobile phones,” he said.
Mr Togadia, a “Z plus” category protectee, and one of the most vocal Muslim baiters in organisations linked to the RSS, said he then contacted his lawyers in Rajasthan to get the warrant against him issued in an old case cancelled.
On being told that it cannot be done, Mr Togadia said he decided to take a flight to Jaipur and appe-ar before the court in Gangapur. He claimed when he was on way to the airport on an autoricksh-aw, he felt dizzy, and asked the driver to take him to a hospital. He claimed he then fell unsconscious, and on regaining consciousness, found himself in a hospital.
A team of Rajasthan police had approached their Gujarat counterparts for help to execute an arrest warrant against Mr Togadia under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC, but could not find him at his residence.
“I do not fear death, I do not fear encounter. But I had to protect myself while following the law of the land,” he said.